The past few months have been rough. B was struggling immensely at day care. The teachers had no patience with her and B had a hard time making and keeping friends. Every day she came home with notes about her behavior and the things she told me her teachers and other kids would say to her broke my heart. We made the decision to pull her out. At that time we had just brought our youngest home from the NICU and I was able to work from home. I thought if anyone had the patience to deal with her issues and help correct her behavior it would be me. Let me just tell you… I had no idea of what I was getting myself into. B missed her friends and school. The break in her routine impacted her more than I could have prepared for.
I have tried everything to try and help her cope with her extreme mood swings and aggression and nothing has seemed to work.
And when I say I have tried everything, I mean everything… deep breathing, calm down kits, cold drinks, walks outside, mediation, sensory activities. You name it, I’ve tried it. Once she melts down or gets into a “silly fit” there really is nothing that I can do at that point to stop it. She is in her own world and I just have to try and keep her safe and wait for her to snap out of it.
I never could have prepared for how much my patience would be tested. B can go from the most loving little girl to the incredible hulk in minutes. Snuggles and kisses to destroyed toys and physical violence. Once she calms down, its plain to see that there is something bigger going on than B just losing her temper.
After a lot of thought and consideration I have decided to start B on the GFCF diet (gluten-free/casein-free). This diet eliminates all food that have gluten and casein included in them. Gluten is found in wheat and is used in cereal, pasta, bread, sauces and many other processed foods. Casein is the protein found in milk and other dairy products. The GFCF diet has been used as an alternative treatment for kids with autism and adhd. I’ve come across many reviews of parents going through the same struggles that we are that have applied this diet to their child’s life and have found much success with behavior and sleeping patterns.
As I was researching, I realized that B really only likes to eat foods that have gluten and then drinks it down with milk. B also has struggled with eczema most of her life. Having a food sensitivity/allergy is something that I never really considered. With Kindergarten quickly approaching it is worth trying before considering some the alternatives. If I can do anything possible to avoid having to medicate my daughter at such a young age it’s worth it to me.
Getting my family on board was a bit of a struggle. Explaining to B’s older sister who is 10 and my fiancé that we were going to no longer have dairy, breads pastas, cereal etc in the house and that fast food was no longer an option took some convincing. After some discussion we all agreed that if changing our diet could possibly help B, it was worth trying.
Friday night I dumped out the rest of our milk and began getting rid of all things with Gluten and Dairy. I went grocery shopping and filled my card with organic grass fed meats, organic produce, and almond milk. Saturday morning was horrible! B woke up and instantly went to the fridge as usual looking for milk. When I poured her a glass of almond milk she was outraged. She proceeded to have one of the worst meltdowns I have ever seen her have. By bedtime the first day I was questioning if I had made a good decision for our family. I was second guessing myself. Would this extreme approach even help?
I woke up the next morning determined to see this through. Maybe it will help, maybe it won’t, but at least I’ll know that I did everything I could to try to help B.
Today is day 5. What I can tell you is that it hasn’t been perfect. B snuck a yogurt from Grandmas fridge and found the left over Thin Mints (Damn you Girl Scouts!). However, for the most part we have eliminated dairy and wheat from our diet. With this change I am really trying to cut out as much processed junk and refined sugar as I can. B has quit asking for milk 5 million times a day and seems satisfied with ice water and the occasional cup of apple juice. I have noticed that she has had less “Silly Spells” where she is bouncing off the walls. Don’t get me wrong, she still has them but I have noticed that they seem to be less frequent.
I’ll continue posting updates here to track our progress and save our recipes.Below is an example of what our menu has been looking like for the past week.
2 Cage Free Eggs, Applegate Farm Bacon, Water
Fruit (Banana, Orange, or Apple Slices)
Homemade Chicken Tenders (Made with coconut flour and GF Breadcrumbs)
Baby Carrots (Still working on getting B to try one lol)
Cup of Apple Juice (100% Juice)
Fresh Green Beans